Works carried out in Simar Nature Reserve as part of BirdLife Malta youth project

The Dingli Scout Group and Hungarian YMCA came together to work at Simar Nature Reserve as part of Action for Nature project organised by BirdLife Malta

Over a week, the youths created seating areas with benches at Simar Nature Reserve
Over a week, the youths created seating areas with benches at Simar Nature Reserve

The Dingli Scout Group, together with members from Hungarian YMCA, worked towards developing the area at Simar Nature Reserve, as well as attending session on self-development as part of the Action for Nature project.

During July a group from Hungarian YMCA returned to Malta to join members of the Dingli Scout Group for the second campaign of the Action for Nature project. The project, which was launched in January 2016, is hosted by BirdLife Malta and aims to bring young people together for the protection of nature.

Over the course of one week, the group of youths aged between 14 and 20 worked together to create seating areas with benches at BirdLife Malta’s Simar Nature Reserve, as well as a new ‘explore area’ with homes for wildlife for students and families to enjoy while learning more about local nature.

The group also took part in a variety of development workshops aimed at empowering them, learning skills in team work, public speaking and leadership.

Karl Zammit, one of the participants from Dingli Scout Group, described the experience as rewarding. “We developed into a great team with one ultimate goal. All of the hard work that we did at the nature reserve was worth it and feels worthwhile. The leaders helping at the campsite made it very special. I hope similar opportunities will come in the future,” he said.

An open day event was held at Simar Nature Reserve on Sunday 24 July where 50 members of the public went on a tour of the reserve led by the team to explore all of the new improvements.

BirdLife Malta education manager Hannah Chisholm, who was also one of the project leaders commented on the effects of the campaign. “Both groups demonstrated fabulous team work. The actions completed by the group will benefit the nature reserve and people visiting in the future,” she said.

The first exchange under this project took place between a YMCA scout youth group from Hungary and the Tarxien Venture Scouts. This group carried out management work on Foresta 2000 Nature Reserve and ran an open day event with around 100 people attending. The participants had worked together to raise awareness of the nature reserve and the importance of protecting nature.

The Action for Nature project, which will run for 20 months, provides opportunities for active involvement, youth exchange and social engagement for young people aged 13 to 22.

The ultimate aim of the project is to empower and motivate the participants to continue to be involved in environmental protection and to provide the necessary skills to do so.

The project will also host two more international exchanges in 2017 for young people from Malta, Hungary and Norway.

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